Northland Arboretum Wildflowers and a Rose

Some people have lifetime birding lists. I have a lifetime wildflower list. (Wildflowers are better at sitting still, so I can identify them.) I found myself in Brainerd, Minnesota this week at a reunion of old college friends and slipped away for a couple of hours in the afternoon with a friend to hike trails at the Northland Arboretum. The Northland Arboretum is a beautiful nature area with year-round trails. It offers both trail views of wildflowers as well as groomed gardens containing many other beautiful flowers.

The prize of the day came early in our hike. A short ways down the “Little Ben” trail, we noticed several bright orange wood lilies. To our delight a Monarch butterfly was perched on one, sucking up nectar. These days I take special notice when I see a Monarch butterfly – it is becoming a rather rare experience. The population of Monarchs is declining due to a loss of habitat. We saw only three Monarchs on our hike – would have expected more considering the excellent habitat for Monarchs at the Northland Arboretum. (For more information on the declining Monarch population and what you can do, check out the website.)


two orange lilies with a Monarch butterfly perched on one

Wood Lilies and Monarch Butterfly



Other wildflowers observed along the trails (“”Little Ben”, “Big Ben”, or the “Johnson Plantation”) we walked included the Spiderwort (a native with a gorgeous blue/purple color set off by the yellow pollen sacks), the Butterfly-Weed (a butterfly magnet because of its bright color and the amount of nectar it produces), the Hoary Puccoon (I have observed this flower in a light orange many times, but these were definitely yellow -it is a native plant that was used as a source of dye at one time.), and the Dame’s Rocket (According to the Eloise Butler website, it originated in Italy, was a favorite of Marie Antoinette, and is now considered an invasive plant.)


blue wildflower with 3 petals




orange wildflower with multiple tiny flowers



yellow wildflower with 5 petals

Hoary Puccoon


purple 4 petal wildflower

Dame’s Rocket


At the end of our hike we took a minute to rest up in the gazebo and take a look at the garden flowers. I couldn’t help but notice this lovely rose.

dark pink rose



~ by Pinetree Photo Nature Discovery on July 18, 2014.

11 Responses to “Northland Arboretum Wildflowers and a Rose”

  1. Ahh, butterfly weed! I was so surprised to learn that it is closely related to milkweed, because the colors are so different.

  2. I do think I have become more partial to orange this summer after seeing what a good butterfly attractor it is. (Thanks for being my photo/hiking/adventure buddy.)

  3. Another Lynn here . . . the photo of the monarch and lily are the definition of orange, though the butterfly-weed is a close second.

  4. Thanks Lynn, I think the Monarchs are special. (Sometimes one doesn’t fully appreciate something until it’s gone or you realize it could be gone.)

  5. Thanks Ron, all done with natural lighting. (Wish I was around PI to catch your Lightroom classes.)

  6. How fortunate to see a Monarch and get to photograph it . Lovely, as well as your other captures.

  7. Very nicely done, as usual Carol. Great lighting. Are they all natural lighting or flash?

  8. Thanks much Lynn. Maybe you can share some of your Pine Island wildflower expertise with me next winter.

  9. Thanks for noticing my composition efforts. While I do consider it in the moment of the shot, much of my composition is done in the processing/development stage when I can crop, rotate, and think about the rule of thirds.

  10. Carol, these are exquisite.

  11. Very nice compositions especially the monarch.

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